Method to remove human DNA when sequencing for parasite infection

A major challenge to sequencing eukaryotic parasites present in clinical samples is the abundance of ‘contaminating’ human DNA in samples. CDC has developed a method to reduce host DNA from biological samples prior to sequencing of the 18s gene, a universal gene which allows scientists to detect any parasitic organism by one DNA test.

Use of this technology will allow for 18s sequencing of parasites found in biological samples for pathogen identification, surveillance, and detection of new parasite pathogens. This technique could decrease the time required to diagnose infections in patients. Initial test results showed that samples not treated with restriction enzymes retain >95% human DNA, while treated samples yield five to ten fold increase in parasite DNA and one to two fold reduction in human DNA, allowing far greater capacity to detect parasite DNA in these treated samples. Thus far, this method was validated using 16 human blood-borne parasite species and was effective in detecting both single and mixed parasite infections.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • A potential next-generation sequencing-based platform for universal parasite detection
  • Monitoring and disease surveillance
  • Detection and identification of new and emerging parasitic pathogens
  • Reduces human DNA in clinical samples and enriches pathogen DNA to facilitate detection
  • Increased sensitivity towards amplifying pathogens in clinical samples
  • A single test for the detection of all potential parasites in a blood sample


Eldin Talundzic (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Richard Bradbury (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Christian Olsen (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Briana Flaherty (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: - issued -
PCT Application No. PCT/US2018/052469 filed on 2018-09-24

Collaboration Opportunity:

The CDC Technology Transfer Office (TTO) is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize: A method to remove human DNA when sequencing for parasite infection. For collaboration opportunities, please contact CDC TTO at or 1-404-639-1330.

Licensing Contact:
Jeremiah Mitzelfelt,
Phone: 301-443-8518

OTT Reference No: E-113-2017-0
Updated: Sep 10, 2018